Doha Development Round

Book by the South Centre, 2019

The Politics of Trade in the Era of Hyperglobalisation: A Southern African Perspective

 

About the Book:

Matters of international trade are increasingly widely recognised as major shapers of global politics. News bulletins are giving more and more coverage to matters like the so-called “trade wars” between the United States and China. These are, indeed, increasingly defining relations between the two largest economies in the world and could well underpin a multi-dimensional rivalry that could be a central feature of international relations for many years to come. Brexit is dominating and indeed re-shaping politics in the United Kingdom. By definition a rejection of a regional integration arrangement, Brexit has also revealed under-currents profoundly shaped by the outcome of a broader trade-driven process called “globalisation”. Just as regional integration is weakening in Europe, African countries have taken decisions that could lead to the most profound and ambitious step forward in African regional integration – the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This study seeks to present an analysis of the political economy of trade negotiations over the past quarter century on two main fronts: the multi-lateral and those pertaining to regional integration on the African continent.

Author: Rob Davies is former South African Minister of Trade and Industry.

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Policy Brief 58, March 2019

Why the US Proposals on Development will Affect all Developing Countries and Undermine WTO

US submitted two highly problematic proposals to the WTO in January and February 2019, undermining the place of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) for developing countries at the WTO. In the first paper (WT/GC/757), US criticises the practice of self-declared development status by developing countries arguing that the North-South construct no longer makes sense due to “great development strides”. The second paper (WT/GC/764) – a proposed Decision for the General Council – provides a way to operationalise what was in the first paper. It gave criteria that would exclude 34 Members or 53.6 percent of global population from S&D treatment in “current and future WTO negotiations”. This fundamentally changes S&D from an unconditional right for all developing countries to a concession that may or may not be provided. Even for those developing countries that are not part of the 34 excluded Members, the US notes that in sector-specific negotiations, other Members could also be “ineligible for special and differential treatment.” This paper critiques the US approach on Special and Differential Treatment and concludes that these papers by the US cannot be the basis for any further discussions. All developing countries must be able to decide the pace of their adjustment to trade rules.

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Informal Note, November 2017

WTO MC11: Issues at Stake for Developing Countries

This is an informal briefing note on all the pertinent issues to developing countries for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference which will be held in Buenos Aires in December 2017.

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South Centre Conference, 13 February 2017

Title:              Briefing for Developing Countries on Global Trends and Linkages to Geneva Multilateral    

                         Processes

Date:              Monday, 13 February 2017, 9:30-13:00

Venue:           Room XXIV, Palais des Nations

Organizer:   The South Centre

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Analytical Note, January 2017

The WTO’s Special and Differential Treatment Negotiations (Paragraph 44)

Paragraph 44 of the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration mandates the ‘strengthening’ of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) provisions in the WTO Agreement, and making them ‘more precise, effective and operational’. This Note tracks the evolution of these negotiations from the start of the Doha Round in 2001 until the Nairobi Ministerial in December 2015. (more…)

Analytical Note, January 2017

The WTO’s Discussions on Electronic Commerce

The WTO has a 1998 Work Programme on E-commerce. This Work Programme provides for the discussion of trade-related issues relating to electronic commerce to take place in the relevant WTO bodies: the Council for Trade in Services; the Council for Trade in Goods; the Council for TRIPS; and the Committee for Trade and Development. The General Council was envisaged to play a review or oversight role. (more…)

Analytical Note, January 2017

The WTO’s Agriculture Domestic Supports Negotiations

The historical problems in agriculture continue today. Developed countries with the financial capacity continue to subsidise their farmers and export these agricultural products. This has also been enabled by the Uruguay Round through large AMS entitlements for mostly developed countries ($19 billion for US and now about $95 billion for EU27), as well as the Green Box (Annex 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture). (more…)

Analytical Note, November 2013

Discussing the Legal Basis for Entry Into Force of a Trade Facilitation Agreement

A Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has been proposed as an outcome from the Bali WTO Ministerial Conference. The TFA’s provisions create new rights and obligations for WTO Members; they alter the rights and obligations that WTO Members currently have under the WTO Agreement and its annexes. (more…)

Analytical Note, November 2013

WTO’s MC9: Analysis of the Text on the Monitoring Mechanism

The text on the Monitoring Mechanism (JOB/TNC/34) which has been transmitted from Geneva to the Bali Ministerial is extremely disappointing. (more…)

Analytical Note, November 2011

LDC Package: State of Play and Proposed Language for WTO’s MC8.

The LDC Package was proposed by the WTO Director General, in his capacity as Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) Chair in May 2011 for early harvesting at the Eighth Ministerial Conference (MC8) in December 2011. Since then, these negotiations have run into problems due to the resistance of the United States. (more…)

Analytical Note, November 2011

Special and Differential Treatment Negotiations: State of Play and Proposed Language for WTO’s MC8.

There has been some but not a significant amount of progress made on the Special and Differential Treatment negotiations mandated in the Doha Declaration (para 44) for developing countries. This paper provides an overview of: (more…)


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